Identity Theory - Summary  

                          An Evolutionary Explanation of Characteristic Human Behaviors
  
                                                      
      Coke R. Smith


INTRODUCTION

Perhaps from the beginnings of human self-awareness, the
question remains irresistibly compelling and unsatisfied - who are
we?  Certainly some perspectives on the response will reflect our
considerable understanding of flesh and bone.  However for
most of us, the fundamental puzzle remains - why do humans
behave the way that we do?

Do we need another proposal?  There are many putative answers,
each with articulate advocates. But as we look across the
spectrum of tendered solutions, essential conditions of a suitable
unifying explanation have not been met.

What would a sufficient general theory of human behavior look
like?  Minimally, this theory would explain the derivation of most,
if not all of the range of characteristic human social and psych-
ological behaviors, including many of the energies of daily life.  
A suitable proposal would illuminate human cultural variation
and interpret non-physiologic gender behaviors.  Many prevalent
psychological anomalies would be coherently explained. A likely
theory of human behavior would also have, a priori, an evolutionary or adaptive validity.  Finally, if not provable, a
credible theory would be empirically accessible.

In 1859 Charles Darwin effectively dismissed all other academic proposals for the derivation of Earth's species.  
Among others, he made two central proposals.   That living species had not been created, but existed consequent
to a universal natural process of species evolution. The second was that humans were, at the end of the day,
simply another animal - western civilization would have to abandon the prevailing confidence that humans were a
sacred creation. The odiousness of the latter reconstruction may be difficult for us to appreciate today.  Indeed,
over 140 years later one wonders how Reverend Wilburforce, Darwinism's early antagonist, could have been so
obtuse, so obstinate. Yet the Reverend was not peculiar; he and the larger society were simply desperate in a way
that we cannot easily recognize.

In the late 19th century it was broadly held that human physiology was teleologically unique and divinely insulated
from the evolutionary science of non-humans.   Today, in the main, we still believe that human
behavior is unique
and shielded in a special, exclusive domain - that it has escaped the tractor beam of evolutionary evidence and
reason.  With the same visceral recoil evident in early responses to Darwinian theory, formal considerations of an
evolutionary mapping of contemporary human behaviors are repudiated.  To be sure, the ideological sequestration
of evolutionary human behavior has recently been breached and there are sporadic reports of specific adaptive
human behaviors or a statistical link with a hypothetical genetic locus.  Yet current proprietary proposals argue for
local constructions and the declaration, ‘Characteristic human behaviors have been and continue to be evolutionarily
adaptive and selected.’ remains essentially unimaginable.

The following is a theory for a unifying evolutionary explanation of characteristic human behavior.


HUMAN BEHAVIORAL CONSISTENCY

As with other natural events, it is the evident consistencies and patterns of human behaviors that lures us to an
underlying principal.  Indeed, many of life’s most extraordinary wonders share astonishing consistencies that
underlie almost unimaginable variability.  What consistencies of human behavior compel our notice and inquiry?  Most
of what we do, but in particular we are struck by the fundamental psychological features that are the
superstructures, the behavioral homologies of the lives of humans of all cultures: jealousy, guilt, love, gaming,
pride, combat, body adornment, remorse, drug use, shame, religiosity, incest taboos, property rights, sexual roles,
rites of passage and art among many others.

A biologist discovering a new species will study it for behaviors that are unique to, or characteristic of the species.  
As those characteristic behavioral traits are determined, the biologist will proceed with an inquiry to reveal the
predictable relationship between a trait and its adaptive benefit to the prototype individual.   Evolutionary or fitness
analysis is now the standard inductive perspective for the explanation of the ultimate basis of all animal behaviors -
for all species except one.

But how could it be otherwise?  Before continuing from the trailhead of human behavioral consistency, several
evolutionary assumptions should be acknowledged.


EVOLUTIONARY MARKERS        

The following principles are taken as valid.  First, in a species, a trait
[2]  is adaptively significant in direct relation to
it's prevalence and durability.
[3][4]  Second, traits that are highly prevalent and durable are sustained by a genetic
reproductive process.  With regard to characteristic human behavior, it is implausible that ubiquitous behaviors,
though maladaptive, would be created and conservatively perpetuated (learned) by widely distributed and diverse
populations over anthropological periods of time.

Consider human behaviors that are prevalent and durable.   Two million years ago Homo habilis, perhaps less than
100,000 individuals, lived in small migratory groups.
[5][6][7][8] With a single exception, despite substantially similar
body structures, descendant species through natural selection became serially extinct through the current survivor.  
This resourceful species has created over 4,000 different cultures,
[9]  each with discrete identifiable language, laws,
art, eating patterns and child rearing practices.
[10]  Yet, without apparent exception, these thousands of distinct
cultures express the same palette of characteristic hominid behaviors.  Not only are these basic behaviors
universally distributed, but the same profile of primary behaviors are routinely found when any culture is examined.  
Like the songs of finches, each local culture has its locally adaptive variation, but a core set of human species
behaviors are universally identifiable.  In addition to the ubiquitous range of recurrent human behaviors, these
template behaviors are replicated by humans in their virtual world of the devices and plots of broadly distributed and
distinct mythologies.

Humans have behavioral consistencies that are characteristic of the species, with evidence in many cases of their
persistence from the earliest tribal structures to current complex human social organizations.  If the same behavioral
durability were observed in localized populations of marine birds over successive species and in a multitude of
distinct niches, an underlying adaptive mechanism would be assumed.  Characteristic human behaviors are
distributed and persist because they have provided a selected and concurrently adaptive fitness benefit.
[11]    That
there is a probable genetic foundation or precursor for these behaviors follows, naturally.     

But what about learning?  Certainly learning is vital to niche domination, particularly in humans.  However the
capacity for higher learning, albeit an extraordinarily powerful tool, is not the central lever to our species
hegemony.  Two million yeas ago, proto-humans walked upright, made stone tools and lived in migratory camps.  
One million years ago proto-humans walked upright, made stone tools and lived in migratory camps. For hundreds of
thousands of years, later humans with brains near the size of Einstein's lived through sequential identical
hunter/gatherer generations.   Is intelligence and learning the golden stair by which we have extracted ourselves
from the pit of evolutionary determinism?  The most useful answer may be – sort of.  Birds learn their specific songs
by hearing other birds.  However bird songs have a genetic substrate without which the characteristic song cannot
be learned or sung.  Humans speak fluently after learning specific languages from their environment, but the
characteristic species trait of speech and language, the erstwhile prototype of cultural transcendency, is recognized
to be genetically predicated, indeed contingent.  These certainly complex and learned behaviors are locally modified
expressions of acknowledged genotypes, with recognized anatomic associations.  Being unaware of these
specialized and genetically sustained neurologic preconditions, it would be easy, even reasonable to contend that
humans speak they recognize language a valuable tool and they are bright enough to learn it’s use from their
environment.   Ontologically it is neither accurate nor instructive to contend that a speaking human is merely an
experienced or educated human.  Learning in a conventional human social environment unquestionably modifies
many human behaviors.  Nevertheless, consensus evidence is absent that universal human behaviors are
exclusively learned.  

If envy is universal and therefore likely to be selected and adaptive, what is it about envy that provides a fitness
advantage such that an individual with this disposition is more likely to reproduce successfully than an individual
without the disposition?  A local algorithm can be easily designed to demonstrate how envy might provide a
dedicated fitness advantage.  However that explanation would probably not explain why another universal behavior
such as religiosity has a fitness benefit.  That each characteristic human behavior has its individually adaptive
explanation and presumably linked genetic precursor becomes unwieldy and less probable as an evolutionary
strategy.  Rather, we should continue to search for the parsimonious line - a unifying mechanism that underlies this
panoply of presumably adaptive, distinct and universal characteristics.  Before continuing, two tandem fundamental
processes
of natural selection should be noted; exponential recombination and selected differentiation.


EXPONENTIAL RECOMBINATION

There are over 10 million species of plants and animals on the Earth,
[12]  and astonishing adaptations to every
conceivable environment.  Despite nearly limitless anatomic differences among these species, at another level they
are identical.  Four nucleotides ultimately produce the exponentially amplified variability and diversity in all living
organisms.   In different combinations, the same 4 nucleotides build a camel and a fig tree.  Hundreds of thousands
of proteins, the bricks and mortar of millions of species, are combinations of fewer than 20 amino acids.  Most known
matter on Earth is constructed from a few atoms that are in turn substantially different combinations of 3 elements.

The recombination of primary units to produce exponentially expanded outcomes is the central mechanism by which
nature parsimoniously produces profound variability, adaptive potential and diversity.


SELECTED DIFFERENTIATION

Exponential recombination permits an open amplification to nearly limitless variability.  Once this variability is
available, composite individual organism fitness is traditionally winnowed at the evolutionary as well as the local
adaptive level through fitness-linked selection by the environment.   

However selecting events occur not only on the aggregated individual.  Another province of environmental selection
is at the physiologic level.  In this domain, local physiology differentiation responds to immediate environments such
as metabolic gradients or neural stimulation.
[13]   An example of this selecting venue is the development of nervous
systems.  Immature undifferentiated fetal nerve cells initially present with an open potential for cell type as well as
for final synaptic relationships with collaborative cells.  Subsequent mature nerve cell specialization (differentiation)
and synaptic networks are contingent on and reflect local selecting physiologic conditions or environmental
stimulations.  The dependence of normal vision on early neural stimulation is an example.  The significant majority of
biologic ontogeny is environmentally biased through multiple stages of locally contingent progressive differentiation.

Selected differentiation is the environmental propellant of evolutionary momentum – without competitive selection,
adaptive evolution becomes stagnant. Exponential recombination and selected differentiation are two ubiquitous
tandem natural mechanisms for the optimization of ultimate as well as proximal individual adaptation and
reproductive fitness.                                 
                                                                    

SOCIALNESS AS AN ADAPTIVE TRAIT

There are a numerous ways to kill an evolutionary human.  Reproductive success is limited if an event causes
individual pre-reproduction death.  And there is reproductive failure by social insufficiency.  As in other species
ecologies, a human may be evolutionarily killed if their behavior is ineffectual for successful mate acquisition,
subsequent reproduction or offspring survival.  In ecologies in which net individual fitness is directly related to social
integration,
[14]  a deterioration in social integration will compromise reproductive success.   To reduce the risk of
reproductive failure by premature physiologic death, critical physiologic processes are sustained (reproduced) by
recognized genetic precursors and pathways.  It is reasonable then that there should be a genetic substrate to
secure the reliable reproduction of significant fitness enhancing social traits in social animals.  Indeed, with the
curious exception of humans, the contingency of reproductive fitness on a genetic substrate for complex social
behaviors in diverse social species is not disputed.
                                                         
From roughly 4 million through 50,000 years ago, human hominid ancestors lived in small, generally migratory
groups.   Although unquestionably hardy and clever, the number of physical niches in which these animals could
thrive was limited.  Then things changed abruptly.  Proceeded by an endless social suspension, over the terminal
1% of a 4 million-year interval humans increased their species population over 30 thousand times and differentiated
from several archaic nearly identical social configurations into many thousands of unique and complex cultures.  As
this social tsunami occurred, the range of sustaining physical and behavioral niches
[15]  expanded proportionally.

What change was so universal and dramatic that it explosively aroused 4 million years of comparatively stagnant
behavioral ecology?  Perhaps it was learning, or language or the weather or pottery or farming integration,
[16]  etc.  
But why then; why not earlier; or why not simply figure out how to make a pot or milk a cow and then coast for
another 100,000 years as had previously occurred following new tool making techniques?  An upright walking animal
with hands, and a brain twice the size of a chimpanzee kept making carefully hewn stone instruments and carrying
them with their families from cave to hut for over
800 thousand years.[17]   With an average brain size at least as
large as modern humans and the capability of speech, where were the Neanderthal empires 50,000 years after they
began to paint bison on caves and build houses on stilts?  Certainly these animals were capable of experimentation,
learning and communication, yet over 200,000 years their tools did not change and their culture in Spain was the
same as in Russia.
[18]

Critical physiologic components were in place, but the pre-requisite catalyst was still pending.  The most stunningly
adaptive and fitness enhancing evolutionary trait in any species at any time, has been the recent capacity for
advanced social integration by Homo sapiens.  In effectively 50,000 years human ecologic endpoints changed from
the selection of superior caves to the rococo social glories of epic wars, religious empires, colossal agricultural and
economic networks and unchallenged species supremacy on Earth – all highly organized human coalescences
requiring massive and unprecedented social integration.  Indeed, some optimists maintain that this behavioral big
bang has made us immune from extinction and that humans can now learn their way to the extra-evolutionary
management of our species and social concordance.

What are we to make of this?  In an evolutionary wink, humans have utterly transformed a critical adaptive
behavioral trait.  An augmented facility for sociality gives an individual a profound survival and reproductive fitness
advantage over an individual with less social aptitude.
[19]  This recently acquired social trait has enhanced individual
fitness at the personal and group level, has permitted a profound expansion in niche domains, is ubiquitously
expressed and is ultimately as essential to individual human fitness as is the sophistication of our genetically ensured
physiologic systems.

Following earlier premises, if a faculty for social integration would give an individual a fitness advantage; if that
faculty (sociability) is universally expressed as a species characteristic; if that faculty is beneficial or critical to
reproductive fitness, then it can be predicted that this social trait has a genetic substrate.


SELF AS A CONDITION FOR SOCIALNESS     

Humans form groups, initially as extended families and then as more distributed aggregates with observable social
structures, or a culture.
[20]   The tendency to coalesce socially is a ubiquitous behavior of our species, but not
unique to it.  What is unique is the species proclivity by otherwise essentially identical individuals to develop and
perpetuate complex cultures that are distinct from existing cultures.   Colonies that bud unintentionally or by a
deliberate process from a parent group, quickly develop dialects and social details that fix a unique cultural
profile.
[21]    Modern humans have the ubiquitous and durable trait of sociability and a characteristic of complex
cultural differentiation.

Could sociability simply be learned from generation to generation – simply an obviously useful set of practices
sensibly taught to or adopted by serial generations?  Perhaps.  But why did humans recognize and implement this
dramatically evident benefit of complex socialness in only the last 50,000 years, when they have evidently had the
capacity to recognize it for 500,000 years? Why were Neanderthals not able to learn from encroaching H. sapiens,
exploit their superior size and strength and prevent their prompt and doubtlessly predicted extinction?

If there is a modern human disposition to complex sociability, might there be a precursor or covalent element that
distinguishes this broad human social trait from the relative social paucity of other social species such as termites or
gibbons?  Such a precursor would distributively track human social complexity, apply directly to the myriad of known
cultures and would be a recognized pre-requisite for future societies.  Among other differentiating features, the
manifestly unique precursor to human sociability is an individual sense of self.  There is no evidence of selfness in
the average ant.  And while a troop of chimpanzees or baboons may have relatively complex and particular social
processes, there is a species level cultural glass ceiling imposed by at best, a rudimentary sense of self.

The human sense of self has been broadly described for thousands of years.  Psychological literature and
references to self includes the collective unconsciousness and the self archetype of Jung,
[22]  A. Maslow's self-
actualization,
[23]  self-consciousness described by G. H. Mead,[24]  the identity of E. Erickson,[25]  and K. Horneys
self-realization.
[26]   Self is at the core of Melville's Moby Dick, Ozymandias by Colleridge, Grant's American Gothic,
Deliberately by A. Mitchell[27]  and R. Frost's The Road Not Taken.   Self or identity is central to learning.[28][29]    
Though differing perhaps in character and definition, nevertheless countless analyses and descriptions of self attest
to its acknowledged fixation at the center of how humans relate and adapt to their environment.  A sense of self is
fundamental to our species behavior and vital to a fit social human.
[30][31]  

Affirmative human social behavior is contingent on the vigor of the individual sense of self.
[32][33]  Deterioration of
self and deterioration of social capacity are directly related.  Erickson observed a model of this linked deterioration.  
Referring to the psychological breakdown of combat soldiers, he describes individuals who 'were impaired in the
central control over themselves for which, ... only the inner agency of the ego could be responsible.’
[34] This
impairment of ‘central control over themselves’ or capacity for social integration followed the combat assault on the
inner agency of the ego, or self.  In perhaps the most indiscriminately violent social milieu created by humans, a
pitched battle to the death between large groups of young males, with the only reasonable prospect of avoiding
death resting on deliberate social cooperation, these trained soldiers psychologically disintegrated, and by that
disintegration forfeited any social effectiveness and rational hope for survival.  A broader association is the
correlation between the severity in dissociative disorders and social impairment.  Sensory and psychological
deprivations are central to recalcitrant prisoner control and manipulation.  As the deprivation becomes more dense,
the self deteriorates and with it the capacity to sustain values and internally reinforce a strategy of resistance.

Fitness enhancing sociability is a ubiquitous and recently durable trait of humans.  This trait is universally associated
with and contingent on a vital co-factor, a sense of self, also unique to our species.  Conversely, at an individual
level, loss of selfness produces proportional levels of social and adaptive insufficiency.

If human cultural evolution has advanced under the collaborative pre-requisite of an unlearned trait, a sense of self,
then we are prompted to explain how this essential selfness comes about.  The principal options for this explanation
re-enact the nature/nurture dilemma.  One set of explanations for self origin assumes a proactive or 'instinct' like
mechanism.
[35]   Another perspective emphasizes a predominately reactive sequential pathway of environmental
stimulation and response with nurture motifs as the primary agency.  There are hybrid explanations as well.

While recognizing important envirocentric factors, the most heuristic assumption is that the sense of self originates
as a genetic phenotype.  The general argument has been discussed.  Diverse environmental/adaptive conditions for
and fitness advantages of expanded cultures were available for an extended period before their eventual
occurrence, yet they did not occur.  The fundamental behavioral transformation, when it did occur, was temporally
dramatic, rapidly distributed and durable, consistent with an abrupt phenotype alternative of significant fitness
benefit.   This profound phenotype shift was the nascent trait of modern sociability.  Self is the obligatory precursor
to this sociability trait.  Environmental providence and proximate reward cannot reconstitute the social unfitness of
an individual with a compromised self.  The decay of self in a socially fit human independently reduces that
individuals aggregate fitness.  Human sociability and linked sense of self are ubiquitous and durable traits of
humans.  Humans acquire individual fitness benefits of group association through open combinations of common
behavioral elements.  This exponential recombination of primary behaviors to derive multiple unique adaptive
solutions and enhanced fitness outcomes in diverse environments suggests a genetic substrate.

The arguments for a primarily environmental derivation of self take several related viewpoints.  Fundamentally these
positions rest on the reasoning that humans want something(s) that a complex society can preferentially provide,
say improved security, affection or labor efficiency.  So they act in ways likely to achieve or satisfy those objectives
such as by forming groups, then larger more effective groups.  Along the way to meeting these needs, the sense of
self is derived in situ.  The specific arguments against this sensible progression are not presented here.  Broadly
however, nurture explanations for self genesis rest on attentions to proximate causes or benefits, undermining their
evolutionary explanatory power.   Second, by this explanatory format, the mystification of human behavior is
sustained – the proximate self-facilitating goals or behaviors of humans are simply assumed a priori to be
fundamental, arising by special providence.  Finally, an argument for the cultural ‘pull’ of universal self-contingent
human behaviors in widely different environments - behaviors that have been sustained for hundreds of
generations, is fundamentally a Lamarckian solution.

That an augmented capacity for sense of self, or selfness, may be the critical adaptive accelerant recently evolved
by our species, with a probable genetic predication, seems evident.   Yet perhaps fundamental behavioral
phenotypes derive from a palette of dedicated units?  Might we have a gene or module or node for 'security' and
another for 'hierarchical compatibility'?   Again, these plug-in models though elegantly designed, are improbable at
the least as being parsimony calamities, while struggling for physiologic collaboration and side-stepping evolutionary
coherence.  Selfness persists as the leading heritable candidate for the phenotypic propellant toward human cultural
escape velocity.  But how is the sense mature of self in the individual derived, if not by environmental equations and
accretion?

Consider the human newborn.  A young infant does not distinguish the uniqueness of it's fist, the offered carrot, or
the eager maternal hand.  Self and non-self are not recognized - a condition that will be modified over several
years.  This early non-self state, the tabla rasa of the infant's selfness, is argued to be sequentially defined and
amplified by experiences and conditions.
[36]  However newborn selfness is described better as a tabla ultima.

The developing infant behavioral brain is analogous to a thousand biologic maturations, for example the human
hematological system.  Humans have multiple classes of differentiated mature white blood cells.   These classes are
derived from a single type of white blood cell progenitor, the hematologic stem cell.  Identical physiologically inert
leukocyte stem cells have no functional characteristics of the specialized and distinctive mature leukocytes that they
will become.  They are in a behavioral sense, 'empty'.   However they are clearly not simply objects that receive the
conditions and coercions of their environment, becoming by some magical process what is needed.  Entirely the
opposite - they are ultimately full, containing within each cell the sufficient potential to differentiate into any of
multiple functionally unique blood cell lines.  Similarly, the newborn behavioral brain is capable of limitless unique
selfs, no more rasa than the dazzling power and potential of a hematologic stem cell.

While the human trait of self is universal, the process or outcome of self differentiation is not predictable.  The
ontogeny of self-definition is open, proceeding without fixed constraints or causalities.  Yet like the blood and nerve
cell, it is also derived from and linked fundamentally to the environment of the individual.

The delayed maturation of the human brain, so noticeably distinct from other mammals, reflects the synergism of
genes, the environment and the process of the opportunistic definition of self.  For this particular brain, rather than
remaining small to facilitate passage through a maximally admitting birth canal, a contrary critically adaptive
explanation is more probable.  Human brain development has been selected for immaturity at birth to sustain an
open adaptive potential.
[37]  The chimpanzee brain is fully mature at 12 months of age, sufficient time to be
adaptively configured to a specific social environment.  The human brain however continues to grow throughout
childhood, differentiating over the critical periods of core self and social development and adaptation, becoming
finally mature in the late teens.
[38]

The normal human fetus is genetically determined to develop a liver and a sense of self.  What form this self will take
and how effectively it will function to the fitness benefit of the individual is not predetermined or predeterminable.  
Despite relatively uniform environments, the personalities of siblings raised in the same home are no more similar
than are the personalities of two random children.  Yet the open infant potential for self definition is no more
divorced from genetics than is the open differentiation of any human stem cell.  
                                                                    *     *     *
We would expect to see two tandem selection processes applied to the expression of self underlying a complex
adaptive (social) behavior.   One, the ultimate evolutionary pathway selecting for augmented selfness permitting
more sophisticated fitness enhancing social behavior.  The second selection would occur as a proximate solution,
permitting local (environmental) differentiation and optimizing local individual fitness.

Psychologists routinely discuss the fundamental stages and temporal nuances of cascading systems of childhood
emotional/psychological development including self-consciousness.  Yet despite the assumptions of universality and
cultural neutrality of these behavioral algorithms, a commitment, even a nod, to a genetic substrate or behavioral
hox gene is rarely given.

Summary - At its heart, human behavior is a social behavior.  The unique adaptability and terrestrial hegemony of
homo sapiens rests vitally on our recently evolved advanced social phenotype.  A central pre-condition for the
effective expression of this social trait is an individual sense of self, a trait unique to humans.

The core contingency of human social fitness on selfness is confirmed by its durability and ubiquity in the species, by
it's fundamental and mandatory contribution to normal childhood development and adult behavior, and by the
functional social insufficiency of the self-impaired individual.

It is understood that human traits that are ubiquitous and durable with evidence of current adaptive benefit(s), will
have a linked genetic substrate.  Given the phenotypic flexibility of human behavior, the expression of a genetic
derivation should be sought in systems in which adaptive behavioral variability is provided by leveraging
recombinations of basic behavioral elements, with subsequent proximate and ultimate fitness optimization through
environmental selection and differentiation.

The following theory satisfies these conditions and proposes an explanation for the broad range of
characteristic human behaviors.

                                                                 *     *     *     *    *     
                                                           
An Evolutionary Theory of Characteristic Human Behaviors

A tribe including many members who, from possessing in high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience,
courage and sympathy, were always ready to aid one another, and to sacrifice themselves for the common good,
would be victorious over most other tribes, and this would be natural selection.
 C.  Darwin[39]


                                                               IDENTITY THEORY

DEFINITIONS

Used here,
Identity is the unconsciously monitored assessment of the psychological uniqueness of the individual.  An
Identifier is any element of the environment including psychological events that, within the Identity assessment,
enhances the discreteness of the individuals Identity.


A THEORY

Human evolution has recently selected a genetic array that dimensionally enhances individual fitness.  The primary
expression of this polygenous array, called fro simplicity the Identity or I gene, is an elemental motivation to define
an Identity.  Complex human behavior is the proximate mechanism by which the I gene contributes to human
fitness.  This genotype has been strictly conserved as the critical precursor and engine of diversified human social
behavior, the signature adaptive trait of our species.  


DISCUSSION

Humans have expanded effective niches by amplifying social collaboration.  Complex social collaboration requires an
enhanced sense of self.
[40][41]   As this sense of self is vital to the ultimate fitness of the complexly social animal, it
is likely to be assured genetically.  To produce optimum individual behavioral adaptability, the derivation of selfness
is protracted, and remains locally flexible and opportunistic.  If selfness is vital to organism fitness, but is initially
undifferentiated to sustain environmental responsiveness, there must be a collaborative failsafe compulsion to
develop and augment self.  The Identity gene is the selected substrate of this elemental human phenotype - the
compulsion to optimize  Identity.   K.  Horney describes this element – ‘much of our behavior is driven by
an effort ...
feelings that trigger
strivings' (author's italics).[42]   

An individual with an enhanced Identity is more psychologically fit.  This greater fitness manifests as an enhanced
capacity for complex social behaviors, which social behaviors function synergistically with the individuals Identity
strategies and the Identity strategies of other individuals to produce human culture.  The greater the aggregate
penetrance of the I gene in a population, the greater will be the individual fitness of it’s members, specifically and
collectively.

The processes of this gene-behavior transcription are not recognized, but are as evident as are the genetic
assumptions regarding maternal/offspring bonding.  It is the drive or
motivation to discriminate a psychic uniqueness
that has brought us not only from the savanna to the moon, but has enriched us with every aspect of individual and
collective qualities by which we define ourselves and our species.  It is no more a sufficient teleological explanation
that this species has evolved merely the capacity for culture, than it is that we have evolved merely the capacity for
reproduction.  For both of these critical fitness traits, we have tandomly selected the genetically derived inertia, the
motivation to reproduce as well as to amplify fitness enhancing behaviors by a discrete universal pathway.


IDENTIFIERS

The Identity gene fundamentally directs for the enhancement of individual psychic discreteness or self.  To progress
toward this discreteness, humans implement an array of self differentiating behaviors, called Identifiers.  These
behaviors are the basis of fundamental social capacities as well as sophisticated cultural configurations.

Identifiers are behavioral and sensory elements that enhance individual Identity.  They are intrinsically specific to
the individual, although there are recognizable classes of effective Identifiers.   A suitable Identifier moves an
individual further along a continuum of increasing Identity differentiation.  Although the process is modified by the
environment, Identifiers are inherently selected by the individual.   

In early childhood, Identifiers are the tendrils that pull the newborn from their perfect anonymity.  Motion, light,
pain, sounds, distention, cold – these and other sensations begin the process of self discrimination.  Later,
additional psychological Identifiers arch and link to provide the individual self architecture from which the elemental
human can become a social being.

The I gene does not code for an individual Identity, a specific psychological property, a hardened sense of self or
Identifier selection.  The Identity drive is plastic, opportunistic and ethically inert.  Identifiers are amoral, or more
precisely pre-moral, validated only by the advancement of the discreteness of the individual's Identity.  To be
effective, Identifiers do not have to be practical, pleasurable or have any inherent social or other predictable
value.  Any source of self discrimination may produce an adaptive benefit through augmented social capacity.  The
individual net benefit of an Identifier may be uncertain, is not quantifiable and may be locally detrimental to the
individual.  The anguish of jealousy may be no less a seductive and effective Identifier than the ecstasy of
reciprocated infatuation.  Autonomous of local value equations, Identifier selection and acquisition is compelled by
the I gene and individual Identity discrimination remains the adaptive endpoint.

Sentient discomfort is no barrier to the compulsion to Identity resolution and physical injury or risk may be a
powerful and irresistible Identifier.  Psychological derivatives of moral contentions such as guilt, often have a
powerful Identifier value.  A human who can experience jealousy, hatred, envy or lust will, despite perhaps
considerable superficial or immediate dysfunction, be able to integrate more effectively into a group or society than
can an individual who is not capable of these or equivalently suitable Identifying emotions.

Gratuitous crime, contrived conflict, games, moral angst, righteousness and sin - these classes of Identifiers and
other Identity innovations were originated by humans responding to the I gene strategy to augment social fitness.


IDENTITY

Identity is distinct from sense of self.
[43]   Selfness is broadly attributed to predominantly passive derivations of
environmental conditions.
[44]   Therapists describe self as being accessible to examination, as functioning variably in
the domain of the subconscious but capable of converging on consciousness by introspection or during therapy.  
Descriptions or analysis of self are commonly value loaded – an aspect of self is good or bad; healthy or unhealthy.  
Regarding a genetic predication, only relatively uncommon behavior subsets such as schizophrenia or bipolar
disorders are agreed to be statistically tethered to genes, and only sporadic recent references are made to a
specific adaptive human psychology such as jealousy.

Conversely, Identity formation is the critical genetically predicated process that incorporates the environment in
active individual strategies to achieve optimal social fitness.  It's origin is expressly genetic and is intensely selected.  
The fundamental stratum of Identity operation is entirely unconscious, like behaviors in defense of homeostasis.  
Correspondingly, ultimate Identity fitness solutions effectively transcend analysis of proximal cultural value or
objectives. This Identity is dimensionally more ubiquitous and evolutionarily central than are the conventional
psychological self characteristics attached to focal mental health outcomes.  

The I gene is continuously expressed, like thyroid function, attenuating to a variable degree toward the end of adult
life.  The first order phenotype of the I gene, the compulsion to form an Identity, is functionally open like human
gregariousness or the sensation of thirst.  In substantial measure it has been collaboratively selected by the nearly
limitless opportunities for niche expansion and biologic supremacy inherent in the balance of our physiology - a warm
blooded animal with an eerily intelligent brain, two hands over 5 feet apart, the capability of refined speech, fair size
and considerable strength.  With these native resources, an animal with an open, non-contingent sociability trait
would have only its peers as a survival threat – but they would be potentially lethal threats.  It was the opportunity
and risks of these uniquely aggregated attributes that accelerated the selection of a parsimonious phenotype of
complex sociability that could flexibly sustain extraordinary adaptive advantages in any environment.


ANTHROPOLOGY

The trajectory of I gene distribution in anthropological humans was not different than that of any other gene and
trait conferring a profound fitness advantage.  Those individuals whose I gene was more dominant, sustained more
adaptively valuable relationships with their immediate relatives as well as with an extended family or clan, and were
incrementally more creative and situationally flexible.  Anthropological I gene endowed individuals produced
differentially surviving I gene rich offspring who were further selected across a broad range of essential self-
contingent behaviors such as barter, hunting, conflict resolution, complex defense, resource distribution, organized
aggression and defense against critical risk.  Individuals whose Identity was more precisely defined were more able
to sustain a local or extended society, and were correspondingly more reproductively successful than individuals
whose Identity definition was faint or fragile.  This trait was particularly selected during conditions of deprivation or
conflict when I endowed individuals were more effective leaders, followers or more disposed to take risks potentially
critical to survival outcomes.

Identity enhanced relationships augmented individual performance in a range of fitness related systems that
engaged every aspect of anthropological life.  Over time, a population with heavy I gene penetrance would have a
prohibitive competitive advantage over any individual or group in which the gene was less endemic, and certainly
over any other species. Synergistically, in an environment in which the gene flow accelerant genocide (or
speciecide) was applied to reduce resource or reproductive competition, the I gene would disseminate and be
reinforced at an amplified rate.

So, why not stay there, evolutionarily reposed, dominant – continue to be the brighter hominid who uses rocks and
sticks more cleverly?  Why become a human at all; why suddenly behave like a human when we were content not
being human for a half of a million years?  For the same reason that terns and whales migrate, humans have
recently evolved a genetically compelled behavioral suite to increase niche opportunity and fitness.  Through
augmented sociality, this genetic compulsion permits humans to organize dynamically, create exponentially
expanded adaptive solutions and comprehensively augment fitness. Lacking the I gene, H. sapiens would continue
to compete for the warmer site by the river.


CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT

'We can keep from a child the knowledge of all earlier myths, but we cannot take from him the need for mythology.'  
C. Jung
[45]  

The psychological development of the human newborn from another apelike primate to a human is vitally directed by
the I gene.  As it operates, it orients the sensory inputs of the newborn, infant and child toward self recognition and
self differentiation.   

Wildebeest calves can stand 15 minutes after they are born, revealing a priori their fitness dependence on early
movement.  Human newborns preferentially respond to social sounds and social images.
[46]   At birth, central neural
networking is noticeably undifferentiated relative to its mature structure.  Despite being critical adaptive end-points,
the newborn has no verbal language or sense of self.  As the child grows, neural structures and behavioral
aptitudes mature in differentiating response to local environmental conditions.  Childhood development proceeds in
comparable stages of advancing and directed self-ness throughout all cultures.
[47]  The aptitude for language
learning and personality flexibility deteriorates measurably after adolescence, in the state of the most sophisticated
maturity of the organism.  

This deduction seems reasonable.  Human behavioral (psychological) development is strategically delayed and
prolonged over an extended infancy and childhood to optimize a specific, fitness critical event - the matching of the
social adaptation of the individual to their local environment.  Just as the immediacy of the walking wildebeest
newborn declares natures priority, so too the overarching psychological development priority of the human child
declares the evolutionary calibration of the self to survival.  From the first gaze toward a mothers voice, the
Identity gene has begun the process of social fitness enhancement through self differentiation via local
(environmental) Identifiers.  As the post-natal brain grows, neural synapses and tracts differentiate in a positive
Identity feedback loop.  Early Identifier processes prime the newborns quest for a sense of self, stimulating and
embedding neural relationships that enhance social aptitude, advancing social fitness.  This augmented social fitness
permits more sophisticated inclusion in Identity selected social environments with their specialized Identifiers,
presenting further opportunities for active Identity definition.   Finally, like a sculpture from stone, newborn
psychological ambiguity is etched to realize the form of a complex social animal.  

Locally contingent Identity initiation and augmentation is the fundamental and evolved role of protracted childhood.


ANATOMY

No specific anatomical association with self is suggested here.  Nevertheless, behavioral descriptions of dysfunction
of human cerebral frontal lobes have a striking resonance.
[48]  In frontal lobe impaired individuals, thinking is linear,
literal and lacks perspective, motivation or curiosity.  Impulse control is diminished.  These individuals are socially
unaware, with an impaired ability to interpret the reactions of others and lack an evident concern for social
conventions.  Frontal lobe impairment compromises decision-making and planning, and limits creative solutions to
complex problems.  Significantly impaired patients appear to be isolated from their environment, and most
dramatically from their social environment.

Without intact frontal lobes a person cannot plan, control key social behaviors or conventionally relate to other
people.  The frontal lobe reaches final maturity relatively later in brain development, occurring substantially in
adolescence, the developmental platform of psychic reconfiguration from childhood to adulthood Identity processes
and social integration.
[49]


IDENTITY PHENOTYPE -  PRIMARY, SECONDARY AND  TERTIARY IDENTIFIERS

To establish the critical precursor to social fitness, the I gene directs for differentiation of self.  Motivation to create
discreteness of self is the axial behavioral phenotype and defining trait of modern Homo sapiens. As it functions to
provide the individual with a primary fitness benefit, the capacity for complex (human) sociality, the I gene produces
additional universal behavior arrays.

The second order phenotype of I gene expression is behaviors that are the basic structures of social adaptation:
the essential behavioral characteristics of Homo sapiens. These earliest facilitated behavior adaptations permitted
human ancestors exploded niche opportunities and were the booster behavioral traits that accelerated humans to a
cultural escape velocity. With the progression of self-awareness, humans were increasingly able to initiate and
maintain long-term complex interpersonal relationships - dynamic planning, barter, altruism and coalitions expanded
social opportunities and reproductive security.  Identity enhanced social relationships such as fidelity, obedience,
courage and sympathy could coalesce into extended, layered and deep organizations with multiple dynamic
hierarchies and traditions.  Innovative elaborate social interactions permitted dimensionally more adaptive advances
in social differentiation and specialization, immeasurable expanding the species adaptive range and local fitness.  
These new Identity contingent behaviors provided adaptively superior behavioral assets in a routine environment,
and were rigorously selected during periods of sustained reproductive risk such as key resource threat or major
environmental change.

On the heels of primary self-determining behavioral advances, enlarging populations permitted exponentially more
sophisticated social configurations.  The I gene, now intensively selected and distributed in an expanding population
able to sustain complex social and psychological algorithms, motivated the development of increasingly sophisticated
tools for Identity triangulation.  Tertiary Identifiers were created.  Mythology, religion and the preoccupation with
the afterlife, politics, sports and games, tribalism, art and war – these and other social artifices augmented available
Identifiers and expanded Identity niches.  Exertions to focus admiration and define achievement, value systems and
mores enhanced individual Identities and net individual social fitness.  These new sophisticated psycho- logic
enterprises and collaborations aggregated as extended cultures.

Adaptively reinforced, Identity mechanisms expanded rapidly - emotional differentiations and amplification such as
jealousy, precocious hatred and baroque love, bigotry and hyper-sexuality became indigenous.   Complex Identity
systems were the defining end game in our biological competitive adaptation through social sophistication.  
Commensurate with their abundance of Identifier opportunities and exceptional fitness value, super-Identity
systems such as religion and tribalism were institutionalized and embedded into the template of human culture.  
Identity defining niches were amplified further with the creation of superficially maladaptive Identifiers such as
phobias and neuroses.  Rapidly, humans became entirely modern.


REASSESSMENTS

    Human Social Evolution and Learning
Learning is a proximal component of human behavior.   The critical contribution of cultural nurture to human fitness is
not what is specifically learned, but is the elemental experience of learning as an Identifying process to augment
self.  All characteristic human social behaviors are derived from the continuous coercion of the I gene to enhance
individual Identity, optimizing social aptitude and net individual reproductive fitness.

     Psychology
Humans have characteristic behaviors.  These are not prevalent and durable because they are taught or because
there is a gene that directs for them.  Humans, like other animals, behave characteristically because those
behaviors (in the aggregate) improve individual fitness.  In the case of humans, this class of behaviors occurs by a
conceptually single strictly selected central mechanism that provides extraordinary leveraged adaptability.

There is no universally distributed abnormal human behavior.  All prevalent and durable (characteristic) human
behaviors, independent of social endorsement or proximal dysfunction, provide an individual fitness benefit through
Identity enhancement, and endure from that value.

Individual Identity is elemental to individual human fitness.  Critical Identifiers for an individual cannot be removed or
significantly corrupted without either a reduction in social fitness or the substitution of an effective alternative
Identifier(s).  Net Identity dissolution, independent of process, becomes increasingly intolerable to the individual,
evoking compensatory strategies such as the Stockholm effect, post-traumatic stress disorder and even catatonia.

    Childhood Development

The human brain is delivered at birth at about 400 cc and eventually grows to be approximately three times as large
with over half of that growth occurring in the first 2 years of life.  In early childhood, synaptic connections grow
exuberantly, becoming 50% greater in number during that period than in eventual adulthood.  During this synaptic
amplification and then contraction, in different sites at different rates, synaptic neural links mature or atrophy
according to genetic processes and local environmental selection.
[50]   This significant brain growth in early childhood
occurs in particular measure in the frontal lobes, cortical regions that permit human creativity and social sufficiency.
[51]   Analogous to the contingency of normal vision on environmental exposure early in development, progression of
adult brain maturation is uniquely modified by a local context that is required for normal development.  The plasticity
of these envirocontingent neuropsychological links is evolutionarily attenuated through adolescence, a period of
profound self-reconfiguration, by genetically deferred and environmentally mapped physiologic processes.
[52][53]

Human infancy and childhood are not psychological savannas onto which social aptitudes migrate.  These extended
and universally choreographed phases in human development have been evolutionarily selected to optimally develop
the essential prerequisite to a unique and adaptively critical human fitness trait - a locally contingent, sufficient
selfness.
[54]   Along this journey to selfness, Identifiers and individual Identity enhancing processes are investigated
and configured.

From this viewpoint, diverse interventions suggest themselves.  The child’s mind is as acquisitive in deriving an
Identity from available components as is their genetic aptitude for deriving complex language ability from
preliminarily sterile noises.  Nurturing caretakers would recognize this compulsion and offer a palette of sensory,
motor and processing elements for the naïve I trait to explore or acquire.   This intervention would de-emphasize
specific achievement content and goals, in preference to an explicit valuation of a (powerful) socially stable and
effective human being.   In the less well adapted individual, useful interventions would be directed and
fundamentally based on the substitution or splicing of core psychological structure; specific values directly
comprehensible, consistently defined and consistently applied - the essential foundation of an effective Identity.  

    Group Behavior

Analysis of group genesis and mechanics warrants reconsideration from the perspective of Identity Theory.  Human
grouping beyond the nuclear family is commonly explained as a rational consequence of various practical objectives
such as to improve security, enhance collaborative efficiencies, expand reproductive opportunities and leverage
individual powers.  These benefits are argued to ‘pull’ the basic grouping behavior.  However, as bees and
orangutans illustrate, this explanation is insufficient.

While grouping permits many useful and sustaining benefits, the capacity to form a complex social organization and
to maintain these proximate group-derived fitness advantages is fundamentally contingent on the capacity of group
individuals to function effectively at a projected psychological level - on their individual social capabilities.  Enhanced
human social aptitudes and ultimate incentives are derivative to self-ness and the underlying I gene, without which
complex group formation and in particular the proximal fruits of complex organization are not possible.

Rather than being derivative, diversified grouping and multi-variable psychological linking are pro-active universal
mechanisms to expand Identifiers, exploding the number of Identity enhancing pathways and niches.  With amplified
opportunities for Identity augmentation, members of large groups form more stable, organizable and responsive
social lattices, and dependant reproductive advantages of complex security and economic efficiency can mature.

Fragile, vulnerable nascent communities that bud from larger parent cultures, address threats and accelerate
economic independence by promptly developing new socially stabilizing individual Identifier systems such as dialects,
altered mythologies and ritual innovations.
[55][56]   Proprietary mythologies predictably underlie durable groups, and
are among the primary tools of despots and charismatic leaders to facilitate mass coalescence and exploitation.  
Strategies to organize large numbers of unpredictable or undirected humans, will invoke precise and vigorous
Identifier systems to enhance the generic sociability of group members thereby facilitating human management.  
Nationalism, religion, cults of personality and other ubiquitous and durable human group behaviors are usefully
understood as secondary expressions of the I gene in achievement of a broader fitness.

Chimpanzees recognize the extended benefits of collaboration and chimpanzee communities manifestly improve
individual security and commerce, but there are still no complex or advancing chimpanzee  cultures.  Groups or social
aggregates are not passive or inevitable consequences of individual intellect, proximal benefits or objectives, but
are fundamentally and obligatorily predicated on the motivation of the I gene to enhance Identity, and on the
derived psychological sophistication that exclusively permits the socially effective individual in a complex interactive
environment.   


    Social Dysfunction

The imperative role of Identity formation and the strategies applied to Identity amplification, reorient a number of
standard psychology perspectives.  Among these common characterizations are 'bad' or ‘negative’ universal
behaviors.
[57]   At the center of these descriptions, common premises or predispositions are recurrently found -
typically there is an intuitively recognized profile of normal human behavior, one that is inherently sociable and
virtuous in default mode.
[58]   Behaviors that breach this species silhouette are then inherently flawed, degenerate,
malevolent or unwell.
[59]  Generosity is good and fundamentally human.  Greed is aberrant and a non-virtuous
cultural seed.  The same for forgiveness and vengefulness, or racial tolerance and racial prejudice.  Universally
distributed pejorative behaviors are argued to endure as statistical psychological deviations and the predictable
results of indifferent social policies or local conditions.   They serve no purpose and are entirely a corruption.  Yet it
must certainly be the case that these 'negative' behaviors persist and thrive by the same adaptive sustenance and
evolutionary logic as charity and love.  Is it reasonable that envy or enduring vengefulness are ubiquitous human
traits because of parental training, individual material differences or crowded housing?  Adaptively improbable
characteristic human behaviors (distinguished from acts), including those universally maligned, endure due to their
fundamental fitness benefit; Identity augmentation.

Characteristic human behavior not only embraces numerous endogenous 'unhealthy' Identifiers such as jealousy or
envy, but we create equally effective, putatively negative ones. Religious systems flourish in every recognized
culture, and often endure against vigorous resistance.  This ubiquity and durability occurs in significant measure
because successful and resilient religions provide multiple alternative ‘negative’ Identifiers that supplement the
range of signature affirmative beliefs.   For some individuals, the anguish of personal inadequacy or sin is as
powerful and effective a vector to Identity differentiation as is ecclesiastic rapture.  For the looser of a challenge,
the Identity benefits of anxiety, compensatory antipathy and victorious projections are as much foundations for
compulsive human competition as is the much rarer and statistically unobtainable exhilaration of an improbable
victory.

As in nature at large, the majority of genetic mutations in humans produce phenotypic outcomes that are fitness
detriments.  Yet the contribution of mutation to this evolutionary system, including lethal (fitness averse) mutation,
is fundamental to optimal biologic fitness.  In the modern social human, superficially maladaptive behaviors occur as
integrated strategic components of a broader genetic agenda of enhanced social effectiveness.  The specific
individual process of fitness enhancement by Identity motivated Identifier selection is as morally and socially neutral
as is the selection of a calf by a lion or the next possibly lethal mutation.  

Behaviors causing guilt, shame or physical pain may be as sufficient Identity solutions as are the pleasures of
belonging or security.  They endure evolutionarily on that basis and persist locally in the absence of a more
individually suitable alternative.  Actions that corrupt or abuse or injure others may have an individual Identity
benefit comparable to charity, protecting or creativity.  Individuals who implement these injurious Identity
mechanisms have unconsciously selected a locally contrarian but ultimately fitness enhancing process.  Other than
coarse coercive or barrier systems, specific sustained interventions for locally detrimental behavior will be successful
in relation to a fixed attention to Identity mechanisms including Identifier substitution or revision.


   Abnormal Psychology

Identity Theory prompts a critical review of a range of psychological anomalies including eating disorders,
dissociative disorders, spousal abuse, co-dependency, suicide, ritual behavior, drug dependency, cults and the
broader field of anxiety disorders.  Deferring a detailed discussion, in summary these unconventional behaviors very
commonly represent expressions of and adaptive compensations for Identity instability or insufficiency.  Despite
often recognized by the individual as being locally counterproductive, they persist as Identity solutions sustained by
the perseverance of the I trait and by their fundamental contribution to that individuals Identity enhancement or
perhaps, rescue.  For a range of social behavior dysfunctions, Identity Theory suggests a focused therapeutic
viewpoint and objective grounded in affirmative Identity enhancement, in particular with reference to dissociative
disorders.

By some measures an anomalous behavioral and adaptive event, human adolescent psychological characteristics
have had numerous explanations.  However an efficient perspective may be that the behavioral inconsistencies and
struggles of adolescence are at root the urgent even desperate exertions of a precocious mind straining to replace
effective but non-transferable Identifiers in childhood with sufficient Identifiers in adulthood.  In this transition
period, childhood Identity constitution deteriorates and social effectiveness is variably impaired pending Identity
reconstitution.   Developmentally staged pre-adolescent and adolescent frontal lobe pruning and modeling correlates
with the onset of vigorous environmentally angled Identity differentiation.
[60]   Identity Theory suggests an explicit
direction to ease and optimize adolescence transition and facilitatively position individuals for subsequent adult social
stability and effectiveness.


   Nature and Nurture

To say that an abused child becomes an abusive parent, explains little about the special behavior of humans.  
Why,
ultimately, the parent or child wants to abuse reveals humanness.   It is a sterile statistical comment on a human
characteristic to note that humans have essentially everywhere and forever been warlike.  Setting aside proximal
conflict objectives, to explain
why a human in their prime will willingly risk their reproductive life, exposes the
behavioral foundation of humanness and evolved species adaptation.

Does a child in Verona speak Italian because of nature or nurture?  Children do not have to be taught how to learn
and apply a complex verbal communication system – it is their nature.  Humans love because they are disposed to
love.  Humans are not taught whether to, but how to adorn their bodies. Characteristic human behaviors compelled
by the Identity gene are the social leg of the fundamental adaptive pedestal supporting this special species.  With it’
s unique evolved peer traits, the dexterous pressures of our digits, the choreography of our vocal cords, and the
multitasking leverage of our spectacular brains – complex human sociality and social behaviors are the essential
expressions of a self-based genetic pathway by which we recently became and remain uniquely fit and supreme as a
species.

We vex ourselves over the differential impact of the environment and genetics on human behavior.  Surely this
subject has been examined exhaustively, and polar positions have been denounced.  It is the modern recognition
that local individual behavior is, as are our physiologic systems, a dynamic fusion of genetic and environmental
contributions.  But there is no true issue, exertions in defense of cultural hegemony or behavioral preeminence are
mute.  Human culture
is phenotype.  For humans, like other animals, nurture is nature.  Human culture, an
aggregate of characteristic human behaviors, is an adaptively selected expression of the individual human genome
with local modification, no more fundamentally intentional than are our feelings of love for our children or the acuity
of our vision.


SUMMARY    

Some believe that modern human behavior is simply our culture in action - that human behavior is substantially
beyond the pale of archaic adaptive traits and evolutionary mechanisms.  However for the realm of human
behaviors that define who we are, the contemporary template behaviors of our distributed species, no assertion
could be more misleading.  Through the evolutionary selection of a fulcral genetic variant, human behavior became
exponentially more adaptive, abruptly propelling the species from a walking ape to an adaptive and social virtuoso.  
The evolved contingency of ubiquitous complex social behavior on the trait of selfness remains forcefully intact, and
the locally adaptive advantage of individuals with an augmented Identity continues to be reproductively sustained.  
In lieu of socially preferred alternatives, universal locally maladaptive behaviors will remain opportunistic Identity
solutions to the I gene compulsion, to derivative social aptitude and to evolutionary fitness.  Efforts at individual and
group behavior modification will be successful and enduring in relation to an understanding of obligatory
psychological commitments to Identity resolution as a central evolved adaptive trait.

As long as the Identity gene is adaptively beneficial it will endure, and humans will continue to satisfy the drive of
the Identity gene in the familiar and predictable patterns that are the behavioral characteristics of our species.


                  
                                                                          *     *     *

ENDNOTES -    
 
1.    trait - A physical or behavioral entity that is characteristic of the individuals of a species and that recurs             
        from generation to generation.  A genetic basis for a trait is understood and its concurrent selection is       
        assumed (excludes non-functioning features).
2.   Shankland, M. Hox Genes and Segment Identity. April 2002.
3.   durable - In evolutionary psychology, the persistence of a trait over many generations under wide ecological
        conditions including conditions of significant species adversity.
4.   Giusti, I. Evolution of Human Culture – a composite pattern. The Ethical Roots of Culture. 1994. p 433-439.
5.   The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution, ed. S. Jones. R. Martin. D. Pilbeam. 1995.
6.    Ibid.
7.   Smillie, D.  Human Nature and Evolution: Language, Culture, and Race. Journal of Social and Evolutionary
        Systems. 19(1996). 145-156.
8.   The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution, ed. S. Jones. R. Martin, D. Pilbeam, 1995.
9.   Smillie, D.  Human Nature and Evolution: Language, Culture, and Race. Journal of Social and Evolutionary
        Systems, 19 (1996), 145-156.   ‘Although cultures to some extent select adaptations to different sorts of
        ecological conditions, their variety can hardly be explained on simple adaptive principles.  They seem to have
        effloresced in much the same arbitrary manner as languages.’
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        organism.  However the use of niche here will also include another sense, that of a ‘nested’ niche, or simply a
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Identity Theory

                  Contents

•  Preliminary Discussion
    -  Introduction
    -  Human Behavioral Consistency
    -  Evolutionary Markers
    -  Exponential Recombination
    -  Selected Differentiation
    -  Socialness as an Adaptive Trait

•  A Theory of Characteristic Human Behavior
    -  Identity Theory
    -  Anthropology
    -  Childhood Development
    -  Identity Phenotypes
    -  Reassessments
    -  Summary

•  Schematic
•  Definitions
•  References